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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
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Reviews (9,413)
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5,130
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8,694 - 8,699 of 9,413 reviews
Reviewed 28 June 2005

First of all whoever decided to call this a 5 star resort was sadly mistaken. I would hate to see anything less than 5 star if that is what this is supposed to be.
We are 30 years old and We were there for our honeymoon June 6th-13th(WAY TO LONG_ 4 days would be the max if you HAD to be there)
We pulled up to the resort and there are bulldozers and other construction machinery right there. As we proceeded in we were not impressed at all. It looked drab and flat and uninteresting. I have been to Vegas and the 3 star hotels there are wasy more impressive than this place.
Our room was not ready of course..so they directed us to have lunch. We ate a disgusting meal of nachos (that werent really nachos) and had a few drinks.
Then they bring us to "our Room" which is in fact NOT our room but a Villa. Well I understand the Villas are more expensive and supposed to be luxurious but we wanted the room we booked. I talked to the concierge and she stated "Oh we upgraded you" .??? Well i f youare going to get upgraded you really want to be in something "upgraded". This Villa room was hot, smelled REALLY bad of musty, sulphur. it had a backporch facing a fence and it was just gross. You must believe me when I say that is is SO not worth the Extra money , it was just grungy.
So we had to stay there the first night (which we did, we didnt leave the room and we had room service which was inedible).
We got our room the next day which was decent. It was a regular hotel room with a couch. It was called the Royal Oceanview Honeymoon Suite(??)
So we had walked around the resort and discovered that there was nothing to do. I mean how much can you lay by a pool and drink. The water sports were budge...there was ONE aquatrike and maybe 4 kayaks. Then you had to rent some ten year old jet skis which were a little(?!) overpriced.
Now to the food. ABSOLUTELY gross. The only good food (and service) was at spices in the morning for breakfast. You cant really screw up eggs and bacon!
The dinners at the So called "high end restaurants" was probably one of the worst food we have ever eaten. They also recycled it the next day at lunch.
Our best meal was the one that cost us 190.00 t ATLANTIS and was worth every penny.
I notice a couple other reviewers mentioned how unhelpful the concierge was. She was by far the most unfriendly person at the resort - which makes no sense as she is the CONCIERGE!
So all in all we are VERY disappointed with Sandals and will definitely never go back. It was boring, there were a bunch of drunk tattoooed people everywhere (did i mention that 70 percent of the people had tatoos?) there were alot of other honeymooners there and honestly they all looked as bored as us. The only people that looked as if they were having fun were the 40 something drunk people that sat by the pool all day. So if that is what you are looking for, I still would not recommend Sandals. It is so overpriced its not even funny. we could have gone to the Mayan Riveira for half the price at least.
again though even if the trip cost us half the price it is still not worth it.
We would have rather just gone to Florida! ....
but we heard ALL about how OPULENT Sandals was and we took a chance.

Just to point out though to another reviewer...we did end up having a GREAT time just being together and on our honeymoon regardless of the resorts issues...you cant say if someone cant have fun at sandals that they cant have fun anywhere! Our level of fun was based on us making the best out of a bad situation. It doesnt change the facts that this is a low budget operation.
Our final analysis was first and foremost the resort really disappointed us but secondly that All inclusives are definitely not worth the money if you are looking for QUALITY........
If anyone wants to email us for details feel free. we will tell you the truth.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
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19  Thank bakerbaby1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Milwaukee, WI
124
Reviewed 21 June 2005

We just returned from our honeymoon at SRB and had a fabulous time. We didn’t ever want to leave! I used this site for information before we left have to say some things I learned were very helpful. I was worried based on some of the bad reviews but I would just like to say that anyone who has a bad time at Sandals most likely won’t have a good time anywhere. Seriously, people who are saying they hated Sandals epically if they are on their honeymoon are just not happy people.

I have traveled extensively and was very impressed with just about all of Sandals, the food, room, location, and activities were all excellent. Our room was a luxury room in the Manor building and was freshly re-done with no musty smell or mold anywhere. The mini bar was great; we always had fresh towels whenever we needed them and our balcony, although without an ocean view was perfect and very private. I would request this room again in a second. The food was great. You could choose from gourmet to bar food and just about everything in between. Sure, some of the portions were small but when you are eating five courses how much do you want to pack in? We ate at every restaurant and were very impressed by the food, drinks and service at each one. It is important to make reservations right when you arrive but knowing that ahead of time we had no trouble at all. The pools are great and very warm as was the ocean. Obviously the time of year you go is going to affect the water temperature. We were happy when it rained one night and cooled down the pools. The beach might be smaller than you might like but we never had any trouble finding chairs and umbrellas and we were there when the resort was need capacity. All beaches are public and owned by the government in the Bahamas so if you think the beach is too small when you get to the end of Sandals property just keep walking!

We loved the water sports activities and took advantage of scuba diving (don’t eat a big breakfast before taking the scuba course!), snorkeling, sailing and jet skiing (extra charge). There was never any trouble getting scuba or snorkel reservations. The island was also wonderful. Very private with a large beach. Yes, one half is shared with tours from cruise ships but who cares? You don’t even see the few other people if you are on the Sandals beach. We had dinner at the restaurant on the island and thought the food was wonderful. The only thing is…and this is my only complaint about Sandals, is that there are sand flees on the island and they will bite you. We didn’t have any trouble with them during the day on the beach but at night at the restaurant it was pretty bad. I would recommend bringing bug spray (they do have some there) and wearing pants if you are susceptible to bug bites. However, I got bit up but my husband didn’t…depends on the person.

We went downtown one day and had a great time shopping and people watching. You can bargain at the straw market…it’s quite an experience. We took advantage of a couple’s massage on the pier…heaven. Overall, we had such a wonderful time we considered extending out stay. Sandals is a wonderful, beautiful, romantic resort for honeymooners or anyone else. Anywhere you go in the world there are going to be little things you wish were different. If you look for things not to like you will find them. Don’t make you snap judgment after a long day of travel. The very best part is getting to spend time with the person you love in paradise. We will definitely be back to SRB and other Sandals resorts.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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24  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2005

Since I have been reading these reviews for months before we left, I feel obligated to share my own opinion. (FYI we stayed in the Manor bldg from June 12- June 19). I was so excited to go. I had this place built way up, and, believe me, it didn't let me down. My husband and I had a blast! It was our first all-inclusive resort and it was so nice to drink and eat whatever and whenever we wanted and not worry about a price tag. Since some of the portions in the nicer restaurants are smaller, order 2!!! The staff didn't mind at all! We went to Maui and Kauai last year for our honeymoon, but I honestly enjoyed this better. I thought the food was awesome. The pools were great (we preferred the Manor pool because it was quieter and had cool little waterfalls and the misting pool). During the day we had fun participating in the daily activities like water balloon toss, bingo, and even beer pong! We also took advantage of the free water sports like the canoes and the mini-catamarans/sail boats. At night there was always something to do. They had a comedian, a magic show, a Las Vegas type show, karoke, latin singers and dancers, etc. Following that we either danced in the royal theater, sang in the piano bar, ate (again!) in Cricketer's Pub, and twice they had a midnight buffet event. The one was called "Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate." (My personal fave!) It was a nice buffet of, well, chocolate. They even had a chocolate fountain. They also had a "Seafood and Martini" night. Awesome! We also took the short (and free!) shuttle bus ride to the Crystal Palace Casino one night. That was a lot of fun even though we're not big gamblers. My advice to you is make your restaurant reservations that require them as soon as you get there, and if you're not happy with something there, then tell someone(!!!) instead of letting it go and then complaining in a review. My guess is they will do anything in their power to make sure you are enjoying every part of your trip. So, don't worry...Just Go!!! I never write reviews, but it was fabulous. Ok, nuff said.

  • Stayed: June 2005
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29  Thank Gamblesmith1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2005

We honeymooned at Sandals Royal Bahamian June 4-8. After reading all of the reviews, I was a little apprehensive. After speaking with a travel agent we decided to take our chances and book the trip to Sandals. What a pleasant surprise! We had an early morning flight that brought us into Nassau at 10:00. We were quickly whisked to the hotel in a shuttle bus----Sandals being the first stop. We were great by friendly staff members, mimosas, a cool cloth, a brief summary of the resort, and then we were to follow them for lunch. We chose to change into our bathing suits (packed in a carry-on, since check-in isn't until 3pm) and then we went to make reservations for the Crystal Room and Baccarat. No problems getting a reservation---be flexible----there's always somewhere for you to grab a snack, so a late reservation is nice! We had lunch overlooking the crystal blue water. Again, all staff members were very friendly. After enjoying a few hours by the pool, we were escorted to our room. The room was nothing spectacular (Windsor building, oceanview honeymoon); however, after travelling extensively to the Caribbean, most resort rooms are pretty standard. The room was comfortable, the mini-bar was always well stocked. The bathroom was a bit dark, and there were a few moldy spots on the ceiling, however, with the humidity, I'm sure it's hard to keep under control. Bath towels were always replaced, however, we weren't always given hand towels. We didn't call housekeeping to ask---if we did, I'm sure they would have been brought to us. We ordered room service for breakfast on 2 mornings. It was nice to sit on the balcony and enjoy muffins, fruit and juice. The restaurants offered buffet breakfasts which were very good. Fresh waffles were my favorite. The omelets were large and cooked to order. Lunch was standard food----hamburgers, sandwiches, etc. After being in the sun, you're not hungry for gourmet meals at noon! The swim up bars were fun. Great drinks! Laverne is a riot-----she makes great drinks-----rum in the straw! We ate at the Crystal room and Baccarat---thoroughly enjoyed the fine dining experience. Kimonos was good--it's fun to dine with other guests. I don't eat seafood-----extra chicken and beef were made for me. (without asking) Casanova was good, small portions for an Italian restaurant---I'm sure if asked, you could order more. Everyone goes out of their way to please the guests. Our last day was spent at the private island. We wish we had gone sooner. the beach was a little less crowded, the pool was a little warmer----everything seemed more private. I've been to all-inclusives before, so I knew what to expect. This was the first time my husband had been to an all inclusive----he loved it. Eating, drinking, using the mini-bar, ordering room service, all without pulling out your wallet. We didn't take advantage of the numerous activities. We chose to just relax in the sun. A perfect honeymoon. Go here if you want to relax and be waited on. If you are expecting a snotty, upscale resort, go somewhere else. Enjoy!

Stayed: June 2005
19  Thank dk04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
D.C.
121
Reviewed 16 June 2005

To begin, we agree very much with Mike from Maine's write-up.

I and my wife are a non-caucasian non-USA couple who were guests at the Royal Bahamian between June 10 - 15. We had made the reservations through a recommended travel agency based off Virginia. Before that, we struggled for a while to decide where to actually go - the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia, The Royal Bahamian, or some place in Hawaii. St. Lucia required visas, and Hawaii seems at times "not that sunny." So it was, finally, the Royal Bahamian.

It was raining fairly heavily out of Miami, but the weather looked up heading into Nassau Airport. From the sky...some of my fears were confirmed. It is hardly a tropical paradise. But that was not too much of a concern as the supposedly Aqua water was why we were there.

No problems at the airport. A friendly staff member at Sandals' booth fixed us up for our Van ride to the resort. Drive to the resort was uneventful, though the occasional very colorful beachside "houses" were an impressive display of the island's moderate wealth.

Driving into the resort, we gasped...it appeared to be much smaller...but in reality, while it did turn out to be so, sizewise it was fairly expansive, still.

Greetings..the usual stuff...and then we were showed out to the restaurants.

About the room....we got a poolside/oceanview concierage Royal Honeymoon room. Be warned..the concierage is just one person for the whole Windsor building..who is fairly busy, though very friendly, like all staff members.

The room was...well, just above average. A little musty and a little mouldy here and there. Neither of us liked that, but neither did it bother us that much. Considering the amount charged, and the fact that there were only 2 other room classes over ours...that was very dissapointing. There was a spacious balcony overlooking the Windsor pool, and facing the Sandals Key island out in the Ocean.

The Windsor is far better than the Manor...which during one of our excursions, we discovered to be fairly old.

We enjoyed the gardens in the villa section...truly beautiful..with well decored flowers and other greenary. Being a photographer, I think I have about 40 shots just from that section. Not sure how the villa bungalows are inside, but the hamock set in the serenity of the cosy pools was top class.

Oh, and did I mention...our AC dripped water in our room just where you step into the bathroom.

Staff was really friendly...but one thing though...they were overly sensitive to the needs of the US visitors...and that can become a little irrate should you be the sensitive type. This was obvious everywhere..when waiting in lines for service or even during basic one-to-one encounters. I guess most of the $$ come from there...and who can blame them.

Restaurants...the supposedly posh ones were a big big dissapointment. We had reservations at the Baccarat and the Crystal room. But both were late..I think the premium times are already taken up by the folks who got the butler service. This had us miss some interesting pool side entertainment that typically reach the crescendo between 9-10:30. Ambience in the Crystal room was utterly morbid..nothing but a red gloom all around you, though it was quite the opposite at the Baccarat. But the food was way below expectations..though tolerable nonetheless. Both of these places share a wall, and we got the distinct feeling that the food items were cleverly dressed to disguise them as different items...but in reality...75% of the stuff, item by item were probably the same. Dessert was very average.

But hang on.....go to Spices. I'm not sure if due to lowered expectations, or simply due to the energy around the place, there buffets were of considerable delight. Casnova followed quite closely.

Being non-alcaholics...our pool side beverage was limited to banana-strawberry daquaris, though there is a wide array of other stuff.

We went to the island 3 days. If you find your right spot...it is quite a delight. But nobody ever mentioned until just prior to docking that only half of the island (East) belongs to Sandals. The aqua water over the coral beds and white sandy beaches is as good as it gets minus the tropical nature.

We did some parasailing - at $50 pp. Very expensive.

We also visited the Atlantis - # 10 bus at $1 pp, and the ferry charged $3 pp. Atlantis is really really very posh...with very high end shopping outlets very much like Europe or Dubai, and not the US. Yes, I would have had lunch on the floor there as well, just like someone mentioned. $30 pp let us see the Aquarium..again thats all that it let us do...so pretty pricey again. When coming back we glanced at the restaurant prices --> $40 for dinner, pp. Ok, point well made. Atlantis also has an impressive warf with expensive private boats lined up next to each other. Atlantis' grounds were truly amazing as well. If you have the money and prefer elegance and modern features all the time, this is your place.

And finally, the Straw market. Let me be a little harsh..they are a bunch of cheats.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay...but the price tags is more ( 15-20 % more) than what it should be. We sure did come back with some truly amazing SLR pictures.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
21  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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